Thursday April 16, 2015
The 2014 BBC Reith Lectures - The Future of Medicine, Part 1
**Originally aired on January 26, 2015.
Surgeon, professor and author Atul Gawande dissects a field defined by what he calls "the messy intersection of science and human fallibility."
In hour one, Why Do Doctors Fail? about imperfection in medicine, and The Century of the System about the dominance of treatment systems. In hour two, The Problem of Hubris about the limits of what professionals can do, and The Idea of Well-being, about shifting focus from medical survival to general well-being. Part 2 airs on Thursday, April 23.
"We have 13 different organ systems and at the latest count we've identified more than 60,000 ways that they can go awry. The body is scarily intricate, unfathomable, hard to read. We are these hidden beings inside this fleshy sack of skin and we've spent thousands of years trying to understand what's been going on inside. So the story of medicine to me is the story of how we deal with the incompleteness of our knowledge and the fallibility of our skills."
- Dr. Atul Gawande
Dr. Gawande practices general and endocrine surgery in Boston. That's when he's not teaching at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School. Or writing books. Or conducting research or analyzing health policy, or lecturing. In this talk, he's putting medicine itself on the operating table, to see how it works, and how it might work better.
Dr. Atul Gawande delivered the prestigious BBC Reith Lectures in the fall of 2014. In this episode, we present Atul Gawande's first two lectures about The Future of Medicine. Dr. Gawande delivered the first one at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. His second lecture was delivered at the Wellcome Collection in London. It's named after the medical pioneer Sir Henry Wellcome.